The Quantum World

Monday, November 30, 2015

Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr ~ Social Reality in the hands of an Absolute Truth

I am quite sure that most who are keen on quantum physics know about Werner Heisenberg; especially in that he is usually associated with 'his' theory of quantum mechanics, published in 1925. This new theory was based only on what Heisenberg said can be observed, that is to say, on the radiation emitted by the atom. However, he said, we cannot assign to an electron a position in space at a given time, nor follow it in its orbit, so that we cannot assume that the planetary orbits within atoms postulated by Niels Bohr actually exist. 

There is a problem with that which I will put forward in a minute. For now, we must be reminded that Heisenberg postulated that mechanical quantities, such as position, velocity, etc. should be represented, not by ordinary numbers but by abstract mathematical structures called "matrices" and he formulated his new theory in terms of matrix equations. 

Later, Heisenberg stated his famous Principle of Uncertainty, which suggests that the determination of the position and momentum of a mobile particle depends on the observation of it being caught in the moment it is encountered... which necessarily contains errors. The product of which cannot be less than the quantum constant h and although these errors are negligible on the human scale, they cannot be ignored in studies of the atom.

Niels Bohr also contributed to the clarification of the problems encountered in quantum physics, in particular by developing the Concept of Complementarity. Whereby he could show how deeply the changes in the field of physics have affected fundamental features of our scientific outlook and how the consequences of this change of attitude reach far beyond the scope of atomic physics and touch upon all domains of human knowledge. Heisenberg and Bohr had a long time relationship. It began in fact in Bohr’s classroom in which Heisenberg was a student. Though there was an age difference, they became friends and colleagues to a certain extent. 

The problem in their relationship was social and intellectual and stressed by the events of WWII. Heisenberg criticized Bohr for his position on the need to address whether or not an absolute mathematical truth was necessary to govern atomic structure. 

Bohr, maybe because of his world view he seemed to be led him to consider that having an absolute continuity in atomic structure was necessary for reality. He seemed to understand the need of an absolute in physics; because without it, no one could make any kind of an observation about anything. 

Mankind is not at the center of the universe. This was an idea that postulated observations as having direct correlation with that which we observe and thus enables us to determine what we observe. That was Heisenberg’s theory. He illustrated this by using a flash of light in the darkness... when it collides with an object there is observation and determination or identification. The nature and measure of it depends on the observer 'man', which begs the question who is man and is he the creator of that which he observes, and does his observation determine the object to 'exist' and create the very nature of it.

Such an assumption that man is the center of the universe assumes that man is omnipotent; otherwise, how could man observe and determine anything or any new thing if he never encountered it before. We would have to say then that man can only observe and determine what something is due to his prior knowledge of it. Thus, the question then is how does man acquire such knowledge or who puts such information into man’s mind that he might be able to observe and determine anything. That is the question that Bohr was after.  

The problem is a socio-philosophical more than a mathematical one of ordinary numbers and perhaps, why Heisenberg chose not to use such numbers. Yet, it is difficult to understand what is real and not real ...not using numbers. I am not sure if Heisenberg thought that matrices would be more probable or not; after all, matrices are just maps of observations that can become fixed. Bohr was not sure that such matrices included the observer in the equation of this plotting of reality since the background of its running are  essentially are in the hands of the observer which brings about a socio-philosphical problem.

Discussions of social reality have always been about 'reality'... what is and who is and who is not through observation. How can one person have a different view of the 'same' thing? Rather, how can one have the same or similar view of an object as in the 'same' thing? Therefore, isn't reality dependent upon social interaction or what we could call social entanglement; after all, man is in the universe and thus a particle composition.

Charles H. Cooley observed that man was a social composition (an entanglement of interaction) and that the real locus of society existed in his mind. Cooley like Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr faced the same problem. If man recognizes himself in terms of what he is and is not, let alone what a social situation is, then what is the actual man and what is the potential man? Can there be both and must there be both in the same moment? 

We can then understand the problem which occurs when one looks only at the actual or when one looks only at the potential. Heisenberg looked at potential and Bohr at actual. Both are necessary for anything to be. And that is why man cannot be at the center of it. If man is holding the light and flashing the beam out, who then is holding the man? 

Something bigger and greater than 'man' has to be the 'holder' of the universe in an absolute state of being. In this way, an absolute truth can of its basic composition can be observed and known even if it is arrived at through observation. This alone is enough to hold man in place in the universe so that he can observe it. Adam like the atom is necessarily both actual and potential. We cannot be anything actual or potential without this absolute truth. In fact, social reality cannot exist without it.

* source ~  http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1932/heisenberg-bio.html

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Changing Energy into Matter

Can we change energy into matter? We have the ability to turn matter into energy; but, we don't have the ability to turn one kind of atom into another. Again, we can take atoms and split them and create energy which is taking matter and converting into energy. Again, the question... Can we change energy into matter? We are not beings of energy but beings of energy. In one room is energy and the other side of the room is matter, one side can turn energy into matter and visa versa - take matter and turn it into energy. We know how to use the code but not break it. Perhaps it is because we are created matter. Maybe we will be able to but for now we are or will be using nanotechnology beginning with 3-D printing. Before getting deeper into that subject, let us consider what 3-D printing in combination with the previous post about entanglement which stated that particles have no 'real' physical properties, would bring out a "brave new world".

Now, on sci-fi flicks we have seen this new world and soci-physic option regarding being in a place. In such films/TV series, we see someone step up to the window and request a glass of red Merlot, viola there it is. They actually created red Merlot because they are able to turn energy into any kind of matter they choose. They can do it instantly. This sort of power is highly unlikely in the near future. However, nanotechnology promises to give it to us in the near future. Which is really microscopic programmed robots. In that "brave new world", we will be presented with a whole new set of problems and dangers.

Those dangers would be nanotechnology itself and its evolution. Remember, nanotechnology is the creation of microscopic robots who have the ability to manipulate atomic structures. They would be programmed to move electrons and protons within atoms to create one kind of atom into a different kind of atom. This would give us the ability to change one kind of atom to another, we could take water for example and turn it into aluminum. Nano robots like any programmed machine would develop bugs and glitches and become unreliable or even rogue. They could be programmed to do bad things as in weapons.

They could be programmed to disassemble human beings. This makes them a horrifying weapon. On the up side they would give us the power to eliminate limited resources and allow mankind freedom from labor and eliminate the freedom of a few to control the resources of many. This would eliminate economic hierarchy giving the individual the opportunity to create what they need when they need it. However, this causes other social problems which is can we trust individuals to get what they want when they want it. Is that a good idea? Without nanotechnology we have no way to turn one kind of atom into other. Yet, it is now being developed and is inevitably on the horizon... let's hope not. 

*From things unseen come things that are ~ Faith is the substance of things hoped for ~ Hebrews 11. And, such faith which is unseen should be in our Creator not in what we create. The Creator God is energy and He turns energy into  matter and it is in this way that He created the universe and everything in it, things seen and unseen. "For our God is a consuming fire ~ " Hebrews 12:29.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Entanglement ~ What Probablity Means for Social Reality

By now, you know how fascinated I am with quantum physics and how I enjoy applying it to my field of study and expertise- Sociology. I just read a truly incredible piece about the arrow of time and entanglement. I paste here a bit of that article (followed by my own brief response) describing what has been and is still being considered extraordinary in the realm of quantum physics. 
Physicists are unmasking a more fundamental source for the arrow of time: Energy disperses and objects equilibrate, they say, because of the way elementary particles become intertwined when they interact — a strange effect called “quantum entanglement.” 

This means that objects and their environment intertwine when they interact or order to reach equilibrium said Nicolas Brunner, a quantum physicist at the University of Geneva. “But when it comes to explaining why it happens, this is the first time it has been derived on firm grounds by considering a microscopic theory.”  

If the new line of research is correct, then the story of time’s arrow begins with the quantum mechanical idea that, deep down, nature is inherently uncertain. An elementary particle lacks definite physical properties and is defined only by probabilities of being in various states. For example, at a particular moment, a particle might have a 50 percent chance of spinning clockwise and a 50 percent chance of spinning counter-clockwise. 

Northern Irish physicist John Bell says there is no “true” state of the particle; the probabilities are the only reality that can be ascribed to it. When two particles interact, they can no longer even be described by their own, independently evolving probabilities, called “pure states.” 

Instead, they become entangled components of a more complicated probability distribution that describes both particles together. It might dictate, for example, that the particles spin in opposite directions. The system as a whole is in a pure state, but the state of each individual particle is “mixed” with that of its acquaintance. The two could travel light-years apart, and the spin of each would remain correlated with that of the other, a feature Albert Einstein famously described as “spooky action at a distance.” 

“Entanglement is in some sense the essence of quantum mechanics,” or the laws governing interactions on the subatomic scale, Brunner said.  This idea of entanglement which first occurred to Seth Lloyd about 30 years ago might explain the arrow of time. Lloyd realized that quantum uncertainty, and the way it spreads as particles become increasingly entangled, could replace human uncertainty in the old classical proofs as the true source of the arrow of time. 

Quantum uncertainty (W. Heisenberg) then gives rise to entanglement, the putative source of the arrow of time. The article related above is most fascinating because of the idea proposed about reality being probabilities. In a sense, the uncertainty element in the probability of a real situation follows John Nash's economic theory concerning what he called the laws of governing dynamics. 

According to Nash, nothing is apparently 'real' until the social interaction in a given interactive event arrives at or comes to a state of equilibrium. He meant that decisions about what to do and when to do it in the realm of economic activity was dependent upon social interaction and the dynamics involved. 

These dynamics are worked out and into a state of equilibrium through entanglement of appearances, language and body language, positioning in view of subordination and domination between those interacting. Once, that was 'worked out' a state of balance is achieved... largely through give/take as between subordination and domination between social actors. 

Their calculating risk/gain realized through their social interaction.  You see, equilibrium does not mean that everything and or everyone is equal. It means to arrive at the best possible outcome for all those involved given that all those involved are both potentially and actually real. This is how we live a social reality. Equality is not achievable, but equilibrium is and equilibrium is possible because of probabilities worked out in a place in space that thus allows time to move forward as a direction as if behaving like an arrow. 

What has to be real is that we the observer acknowledge that we are and we are because something greater than us is observer us. Otherwise, as Niels Bohr pointed, how we could observe. If our being was as uncertain as what we observe, there is nothing certain and nothing to certainly discuss.

Given that, what potential for mankind made known to Him by His Creator. 
What Probability means for social reality - possibility!

with god all things are possible ~ Matthew 19:26

i have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some  ~ 1 COR 9:22